By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 13 Jul: All is not well within Uttarakhand Congress, even as top leaders continue to fight openly with each other through statements made in the media. Harak Singh Rawat who had been maintaining a low profile since the debacle of the Congress in the state assembly elections had two days ago suddenly become vocal with the problems within the party. Not only this, yesterday, he openly expressed his desire to contest the next Lok Sabha Elections from Haridwar, which the former Chief Minister and veteran Congress leaders Harish Rawat considers his bastion.
Therefore, today it was the turn of Harish Rawat to speak and vent his ire on Harak Singh, albeit indirectly and impeccably in his own style. Harish Rawat referred to himself as the Jethani (elder sister in law) and to Harak Singh Rawat as the Devrani (younger sister in law) and stated that it was after a significant time that the Devrani (Harak Singh) had woken up from a deep slumber.
It may be recalled that Harak Singh had yesterday called upon Harish Rawat to not contest any more elections and instead promote younger leaders to contest the elections. Retaliating to the claim made yesterday and day before yesterday by Harak Singh that Congress was appearing to be weak as an opposition party in Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat claimed that Congress was strong and the party organisation was very strong in Uttarakhand.
He also referred to the statement made by Harak Singh regarding him (Harish Rawat) using tactics to remain in news, and said that in politics, everyone needed to have tactics and advised Harak Singh to learn the same and come to him (Harish Rawat) to learn the same. He reminded that it was him who raised all the important issues against the BJP Government like Agniveer Scheme and other issues. Harish Rawat today also announced that he would be in Gairsain tomorrow and in Almora to raise people centric issues and said that every Congress leader ought to raise these issues.
It may be recalled that two days before, some Congress leaders including former PCC Chief Pritam Singh and MLA Bhuwan Kapri had visited Harak Singh Rawat who had openly stated that Congress was appearing to be weak not only across the country but also in Uttarakhand. The tussle only continues to grow within Congress in the state.
It may be pertinent to point out here that Harish Rawat had once won Lok Sabha elections from Haridwar and though later also lost the elections in 2019 from there, he continues to eye the constituency. His shift to Lal Kuan assembly constituency in recent elections did not prove to be fruitful and he keeps his hope alive from Haridwar due to a number of factors. Now the next assembly elections being 5 years away, he is eyeing Parliamentary Elections from Haridwar. His daughter Anupama Rawat managing to win the Haridwar Rural assembly elections keeps his hopes alive for the Lok Sabha Elections from Haridwar. A very significant proportion of the population in Haridwar is Muslim or scheduled caste and the Congress leaders see that as easy votebank. That may also be a reason for Harak Singh to eye this constituency.
Now that Harak Singh has openly announced his desire to contest from Haridwar, it will not be an easy task for Harish Rawat to brush aside this challenge as Harish Rawat has lost several elections continuously.